Activity: Family Tree (Free materials)

Artist Allison Katz's exhibition is called Artery. In this activity we are going to explore arteries in the world around us. We will also be adding and playing with words.


Make some room and find a flat and hard surface to work on.

You will need to select a leaf with a bumpy texture like blood vessels or veins. Look around your home or graden, or get out in the open air and go for a lovely walk to collect your leaves.

Now you have the leaf, open the pre-ordered pack to find the following supporting materials: instructions, tissue paper, crayon, coloured pencil and folded coloured paper with carbon paper in between. You might want to grab some extra pens, crayons and pencils from home. Watch the video, and follow the instructions below or click here.

We will start by making a rubbing and copying those beautiful patterns on the leaf. I've chosen a cabbage leaf because it has patterns very much like a big tree! Put the tissue paper on top of the leaf and use the crayon to rub and copy the patterns. You will need to hold it down so it stays in place. Ask a grown up to help if it gets a bit tricky!

Next add the paper in the following order: the folded paper (contains some carbon paper in between), your rubbing image in the middle, then the transparent tracing paper goes on the top. Now start working to make a new image.

Look at the patterns closely and think of some words or phrases to add in. You can give your artwork a name or play around with words from a poem or song lyric. Will you make your words small and hidden or big so that it can't be missed?

When you draw put some pressure on the pencil to transfer the image to the layers underneath. Try using your pen, sharp pencil and crayon to create different effects. Use hard, clear lines and wider, softer marks. Try to follow the patterns you have made on your rubbing. Select smaller areas to work on if you can't do all the picture.

When you are happy with your work, open them all up and have a look to see the transformation! Choose how you'd like to arrange and display them.

If you would like a free materials pack, please email

Reserve and collect from our reception or we can pop one in the post for you!

Do share your artwork on our social media #NCmaking

Tips at home:

  • You will need to work on a hard and flat surface
  • A helping hand might be needed to identify the different types of paper and hold the paper down when doing the activity

This activity was created by Play and Learn Facilitator, Milee Lee

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